Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Roots of American Order Book Club

Chapter I - O.R.D.E.R., The First Need of All

Acrostically speaking I have outlined what I expect to learn by reading Russell Kirk's survey with Cindy's online book club.

O - Origins
Who, What, Where, When, and How - 
Granted I may already be familiar with the answers to these crucial questions, but it behooves me to revisit the stories.  Repetition is good.
R - Recognition
I don't want to miss the road signs (beliefs and laws) so I'm studying the map (worldview) again. And I wonder if I could give good directions to a fellow traveler.
D - Direction
While I've never felt aimless and lost like the example given by Simone Weil, I want to make sure my path and pattern are impervious to disorder.  Read Cindy's use of this term in her recent post on parenting. Also, remember Dr. Kirk suggests that understanding disorder is a way of grasping the meaning of order
E - Establish
Individual and societal arrangements are designed to be systematic and harmonious for the benefit of everyone.  Where do I get my sense of order?  In my own home how do I imitate order/orderliness?  Are the roots of these arrangements well-established, i.e healthy and growing? Or in need of fertilizer and/or water?
R - Refresh
Thinking of Lady Mary of Downton Abbey fame (when she's contemplating furnishing a new home with Sir Richard) and speaking figuratively myself, I'm fortunate to have an inheritance - the *picture* of these United States of America - and a role in a new chapter of our manor (country). 

As Kirk advises, it's time to clean up the painting: to remove the varnish*, preserve it's form and outlines, and thereby see the vision more clearly.

Only then can we discover the the light in the picture that will invigorate healthy growth.

Dr. Kirk's The Roots of American Order is a perfect guide.

In the 1940s, the varnish was removed from this famous Rembrandt painting that I'm using as an illustration for my commentary on this first book club post.  After hundreds of years believing the setting was at night, the art world had to revamp their thinking to militiamen gathering for a daytime march.

Click here for a visit to the Rijksmuseum's website and more information about erroneously known as the  Night Watch.


  1. Okay, you convinced me. I hadn't planned on buying the book. I really don't need another book clamoring for my attention, especially a book that's most likely going to be a long and elaborate sermon to the choir, but this post made me think twice about that. Like I mentioned at Brandy's blog, I downloaded the free sample from Amazon onto my Kindle and after reading the extensive table of contents (I love that kind of TOC -- Charlotte Mason's books and other older ones use that format) I decided you're right.

    So I bought a 99 cent paperback from Alibris, because it looks like I'm going to want to mark it up a lot and I can't bear to mark up a new book. :-p

    I doubt I'll be be blogging much, but I will be reading everyone else's comments on it.

  2. Ooh. An acrostic outline! I like it!

    I like that you included the E. I almost went that direction in my post, but I decided I was trying to go too many places at once (is that disorder? he he).

    I don't think I know all of the "O" answers, myself, so I'm excited about this a whole big bunch. :)

  3. @Kelly - I'm glad you decided to join in the fun. Please do comment whether you write a post yourself, or not. We need you input.

    Plus I glad to read that you read the table of contents. That, in and of itself, is a great overview and whetted my appetite.

    I'd say the biggest draw for me is to hone my ability to explain the directions to someone else.

  4. @Brandy - I'm so glad you're on board too. I really dont know if I could have done like you and blogged while my four were young.

    And thanks for the kudos on the acrostic. But I really appreciate your ability to apply the chapter to current events.

  5. Since I am in over my head on this one I am really looking forward to everyone else's posts. I am happy to say that I have started chapter 2 and the writing continues to be clear and easy to understand. It IS good for me too to learn how to articulate.

    I was thinking that The Night Watch was not necessarily because the picture appeared at night but rather that they were a group called the Night Watch....but I didn't follow the link. Still interesting that it was a daytime picture.

  6. @Cindy, I am intrigued by the concept that change (in the order) is the means of preservation.

    That's the Edmund Burke quote at the end of the chapter.

  7. Thanks for mentioning the Table of Contents. I bought the Kindle version and didn't skim through the TOC to start with. Now I need to go back and read that.

    I appreciate Kirk's writing which is OK for reading in the evening. I finished Ch1 last night, I doubt I'll blog, but I'll probably comment.

  8. Looking forward to your comments, Dawn.

    Reading TRAO will be the equivalent of getting one's background in order, thereby making everything else run more smoothly.

  9. I had to read along. My first time and I have no blog so I will just comment my two cents. Just read the first chapter late last night and am off to the Exploreum to see Megalodon!! Will be pondering what I read. I have just started down the road of self education and am feeling overwhelmed!! Been enjoying the reading at Circe and Quiddity that lead me to try and read along. I have been reading Cindy's post for years. She makes me chuckle!